A-3606/S-2441, A-3607/S-2440, A-3608/S-2439 and SR91

Dyslexia Legislation.

NJEA supports this package of bills relating to reading disabilities including dyslexia.  We have worked with the sponsor, Assemblyman Albano and Senator Van Drew to ensure that the bills meet their intended goal and benefit all students who enter school with a potential reading disability including but not limited to dyslexia.  

NJEA supports A-3606 (Albano, Dancer, Milam, Diegnan, Jasey) / S-2441 (Van Drew, Ruiz), A-3607 (Albano, Dancer, Milam, Diegnan, Jasey) / S-2440 (Van Drew, Ruiz) as amended.  This legislation will mandate that certain school personnel annually complete two hours of professional development related to reading disabilities.  Early literacy is an important factor in student success - - and, therefore it is essential that professionals working with elementary students are able to identify and address reading difficulties as soon as possible. The professional development mandated by this bill will go a long way to ensuring that professional educators have the tools they need to help struggling learners early in their academic careers.

NJEA supports A-3608 (Albano, Dancer, Milam, Diegnan, Jasey) / S-2439 (Van Drew, Ruiz, Allen).  This legislation directs the State Board of Education to incorporate the International Dyslexia Association’s definition of dyslexia into regulations.  NJEA supports this bill because it will help raise awareness about dyslexia.

NJEA supports SR91 (Van Drew, Ruiz, Allen).  This resolution urges the State Board of Education to develop an endorsement to the instructional certificate for teachers of students with reading disabilities including, but not limited to, dyslexia.  NJEA supports this bill because it offers teachers the opportunity to acquire more knowledge and skills to help them work with struggling readers.

While NJEA is pleased to support this package of bills, we hope the legislature will consider additional researched based measures that will support educators in identifying and working with students with all types of reading difficulties, including but not limited to dyslexia. These include:

  • Universal preschool and full-day kindergarten programs so that all students who enter school do so, on a level playing field and have the best opportunity to be successful lifelong learners.  
  • “Response to Intervention” or “RTI” training and implementation in school districts.  RTI is a process that allows for the identification of struggling learners in the general education setting.  It provides teachers with multiple levels of interventions that are based on a student’s individual learning needs.  If embedded as part of a school’s culture, it can provide success to all students with learning difficulties.

NJEA urges you to vote “yes” on these important bills.